Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Spinal Support Group Praised in Parliament

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Spinal Support Group Praised in Parliament

Article excerpt

Byline: SARAH JUDD

A TEESSIDE spinal support group, which helps hundreds of people with chronic back pain in the local area and beyond has been praised in Parliament.

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson held a Commons debate about the work of the Tees Valley Spinal Support Group - based at the University Hospital of North Tees, Stockton.

The group, set up by volunteers in 1999, received international recognition in 2010, when a group from Princeton in the USA approached its members for advice on how it could set up a similar group.

Group members and volunteers including Joyce Marron, Clare Poulton, Peter Allan, Victoria Fenny, Gordon Marron, Judith Allan and Linda Botterill have their own experiences of living with chronic back pain.

As well as supporting others, they have helped form an all-party Parliamentary group to promote awareness of the limited availability of specialist spinal surgeons and improve care for back pain sufferers and those with spinal injuries.

With the help of Dr Manoj Krishna, consultant orthopaedic spine surgeon at North Tees, they have also helped set up a similar support group in York.

Last week, the MP for Sedgefield praised their work, saying: "At a time of controversial change to the NHS, I wanted to put on record my belief that the spinal unit at the University Hospital of North Tees and the volunteer network that supports patients before and after treatment is a shining illustration of all that is good about the NHS, and should be an example of how other acute care and chronic pain services should operate elsewhere. …

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